Why Do Students Want to Be Perfect in Everything?

Why Do Students Want to Be Perfect in Everything?
By Ahmad Amirali

“Sir, I meet my subject tutor today and he told me that achieving 95% in mathematics and science I, not a big deal and overall 85% is an average grade for a student like you….my parents appear to have a similar kind of thoughts… I feel so much pressure, what if I lost or unable to achieve these grades….”

This is one of the common concerns or what can I say a ‘trauma’ shared by many students, but differently, since I started my teaching career. Each year, several students graduated and happily embark upon their career journey. Some reach out their goals and successfully achieve whatever they’ve planned for their future. However, some teenagers try to pursue whatever their parents, teachers, friends or relatives think are best for them and in that pursuit all they do is simply sacrifice every dream they ever dream for themselves. The question is why is it necessary for students to achieve greatness in every walk of their lives? Does it come from within or from the adults around them? Read More …

Why Students Sometimes Fear to Speak Out Their Minds in The Classroom? | Reasons and Remedies

Why Students Sometimes Fear to Speak Out Their Minds in The Classroom? | Reasons and Remedies
By Ahmad Amirali

Have you ever wondered sometimes a teacher plan a fascinating topic for his/her class and despite witnessing the students’ interest in the subject, they simply avoid participating in classroom discussion or even sharing their opinion? Every year I encountered such student behaviour in my classroom, and upon counselling the students, I hear the same excuse; ‘I was silent because I was worried to share my opinion, what if someone rejects or laugh at my point’. Interestingly, this year I found the same issue with a number of students in my classroom. But this time not one or two, but majority share the same concern that they fear of being singled out or accidentally saying something offensive. Let’s explore what makes students fear to speak out their minds in front of their peers? Read More …

5 Ways to Use Social Media in Classrooms (Session 1)

5 Ways to Use Social Media in Classrooms (Session 1)
By Ahmad Amirali

This year, I am experimenting and have introduced ‘Online Discussion Forums’ in my classroom to help my kids reflect and personalise whatever they’ve been taught at the school (Previous Article: The Online Discussion Boards – A Classroom Pedagogical Tool | How to Use Guide | Pros & Cons). Similarly, there are number of ways through which teacher can involve students in personalisation mode and using social media as a pedagogy for student learning and engagement is one of them. One may ask ‘Why social media?’, Well, It’s not a secret that today’s students are hooked-up with social media due to its popularity and the sense of communal belongingness. Therefore, many teachers are incorporating social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook into their curriculum. From ‘bulletin boards’ to ‘fake Facebook profiles’ for historical figures, teachers are turning what students post on social media into classroom assignments. Read More …

Why Students Try To ‘Negotiate’ Their Assessment Grades?

Why Students Try To ‘Negotiate’ Their Assessment Grades?
By Ahmad Amirali

I still remember when I was in school and get average grades in my class tests. I try to ask the teacher why I got these marks, even the checked paper in front of me was full teacher’s comments. Nowadays the same anxiety now taking a new shape in the form of students complains which they do in a variety of creative ways after they receive their tests grades. Now students not only share their concerns regarding their grades with their teachers and parents but also start appealing over social media like Facebook and WhatsApp. The reasons can be anything from convincing oneself that they did their level best; still, they got these marks, or they try to maintain their social reputation or even some only wat sympathising words that might cheer them up. However, they matter of concern to me are not the channels students used when they are in distress but their behaviour of appealing and complain. Why students even want to negotiate or try to request for their assessment re-grading? Read More …

The Online Discussion Boards – A Classroom Pedagogical Tool | How to Use Guide | Pros & Cons

The Online Discussion Boards – A Classroom Pedagogical Tool | How to Use Guide | Pros & Cons
By Ahmad Amirali

Since we are living in an advanced ‘Space-age’ where ICT (Information Communication Technology) is now becoming an integral part of our lives. Therefore, the ethical use of technology as part of the lesson plan provides a paperless and collaborative learning experience for students. However, in developing countries like India and Pakistan, the use of virtual tools usually discouraged by teachers in the classroom due to lack of professional development and in some regional context the lack of resources like multimedia projectors or even cellular devices. It is essential first to reflect how, as a teacher, I perceive the idea of using technology in the classroom? Do I believe that using technology means the use of heavy tech-gear in my classroom as a pedagogy? This perception not only limits the idea of a technology-engaged class but also discourage teachers even from getting involved in this process. Read More …

What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole School Term?

What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole Term?
By Ahmad Amirali

The summer vacations are over, and students are all setting their new aspirations for the new journey which is about to start or for some already started at the beginning of August. Besides the usual term classes and assessments, some things that motivate students to work hard and perform well such as new classmates, favourite teachers, reasonable classrooms compare to last years (in most cases) etc. similarly there are things that slow down students’ performance engine. In the majority of schools in Pakistan, the term started in August and most probably every school has their midterm examinations in December. The question that almost every student asks in these four months is ‘how much time left for me in this semester to improve my grades?’ Read More …

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?
By Ahmad Amirali

I usually work late at night and my friends, school colleagues and even my students mostly aware of my schedule. As a result of which my ex-students mostly approach me at night even after midnight. Yesterday, a similar kind of thing happened and one of my previous year students texted me, asking my suggestions about his career choice. It was quite late at night, and unintentionally I asked him, ‘don’t you want to sleep it’s quite late?’ He replied with a usual excuse, ‘Sir, I normally sleep that late’. This reminds me of the whole term experience which I had with this kid. His class performance was above average; however, he always looks like a Somnambulist (walking in one’s sleep or under hypnosis) even during the day time in school. As children grow and move to teenage level, they become at the significant stage of their growth and development that they need more sleep than adults. (Previous Article: Sleep and Teenagers: Why Teens Need More Sleep Than Adults). The result of not having enough sleep can be devastating to teen’s mental and physical health – making them a walking ‘Daytime Zombie’. There are many factors that keep teens from getting enough sleep – one of the factors is the use of late-night smartphones. Read More …

Help Children to See Good Side of Making Mistakes

Help Children to See Good Side of Making Mistakes

Recently three parents came to me complaining about their kids being naughty and taking a keen interest in home-related chores. I simply ask them how they handled the situation when their kids made mistakes? Two out of three parents confess that they use force by scolding their children or by using rough language; even one parent stated that she even swears her kids while scolding them. First of all, it is important to know that children, during their adolescence period, learn from their mistakes. Most adults understand this concept. We have failed to teach our children that there is a positive side to getting things wrong. Read More …

Why Is Experiencing Nature Beneficial For Children?

Why Is Experiencing Nature Beneficial For Children?
By Ahmad Amirali

It’s been four years when I first tried to explore that topic as my Mteach practice-based enquiry (PBE) module; I was not sure about how much importance ‘outdoor learning’ has in adolescents’ cognitive development and engagement with the world. We always believe that children should provide a healthy and safe learning environment and for us ‘healthy and safe’ means no outside encounter. In my research Learning Outside the Classroom –  Students Responses and Learning Outcomes, I explain how exposure to outdoor helps adolescents to engage in an experiential mode of learning. The significant outcome of my research was individuals who spent more time in natural environments as kids appeared to have better mental health outcomes in their adulthood. Read More …

From the Heart of The Students’ Curious Mind

From the Heart of The Students’ Curious Mind
By Ahmad Amirali

Yesterday, while working on my assignment, I was analysing my previous year student classwork task (I usually take snaps of my classroom activities and students’ performance to later show them to parents in PTMs). I found a student note in which he asked me a series of questions about the question I asked during the session of Crusades. I smile for a moment because all of a sudden, the whole school term just flashed into my eyes, reminding how different and curious today’s generation are. I wonder, what makes them question the question or even question the reason?  Is it something student’s way to explore reasons for the reason or it’s just a time-killing strategy? Read More …